Sunday, January 2, 2011
Just as much a celebration of love as it is a portrait of loss, Lennie's struggle to sort her own melody out of the noise around her is always honest, often hilarious, and ultimately unforgettable.
This came highly recommended from a friend of mine a few months back, so I was ecstatic to get it for Christmas! Nelson has interspersed her debut novel with (very good) poetry that adds a whole new unique dimension to a book that deals excellently with the topic of grief. I myself am one of two sisters, so I really connected the emotional whirlwind Lennie felt towards Bailey, the 'brighter star.'
Abandonment is also a big theme, and I liked the way it was handled; although Lennie's mom's absence is at first glossed over by her grandmother in terms of how right it was, the true story is tackled towards the end.
The Sky is Everywhere features a very colorful cast of characters: when Lennie's best friend Sarah gets excited 'random animals pop into her speech like she has an Old MacDonald Had a Farm kind of Tourette syndrome', and her uncle Big is the town Casanova as well as a part time wannabe necromancer.
Then there's Joe, the musical savant from France, part of the incredibly good looking group of brothers taking Lennie's hometown by storm. Their romance was sweet, if a little idealistic, and I think the integration of music into their relationship was done well without being cheesy. I didn't quite get Lennie's relationship with Toby, but I respected the fact that she definitely didn't get off easy for her choices. Overall, a strong debut- I'm looking forward to more from Ms. Nelson!
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